Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

December 2017
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EDITO
Wednesday, 13 December 2017

On a tour of Senegal, Niger and Rwanda, German Development Minister Gerd Müller repeated his call for a Marshall Plan for Africa. But is a post-World War II-style recovery program realistic or even necessary? Gerd Müller makes his way on foot across the arid field in Cayar, a small town in Senegal. After a few steps, he reaches the greener part of the field, which is being irrigated with the help of a solar-powered pump funded by Germany's development ministry. The irrigation has increased the farmer's crop yield and he is understandably delighted.

François Hollande has announced an increase to France’s official development assistance budget for 2017, putting an end to several consecutive years of funding cuts. EurActiv France reports. “France must set the example on development assistance,” the president told an assembly of French ambassadors at a meeting in Paris on Tuesday (30 August). With negotiations on France’s 2017 finance bill looming on the horizon, Hollande promised to increase France’s development spending, which has suffered year-on-year cuts since he began his mandate in 2012.

Strict aid accounting rules mean the international community is reluctant to finance security operations in Africa’s troubled Sahel region, leaving France all but alone in tackling this sensitive issue. Sandwiched between the Sahara desert and Africa’s tropical forests, the Sahel region is in dire need of peace and security. As several experts noted at the Convergences World Forum in Paris this week, the region’s development is being held back by a lack of international interest in solving its security problems.

Wednesday, 07 September 2016

The Ambassador of the EU earlier this week announced that the EU will be donating an amount of US$20 million to assist various projects including drought relief, to help northern farmers with veterinary services, land development, water supply and NGO's. The Ambassador noted "The idea of this project is to increase the market price of cattle by 17% over five years. The only way this can be done is to decrease the number of cattle in the northern areas hoping that it will also prevent over-grazing and promote the quality of meat. The project will be initiated in October this year and different farmers and stakeholders will still be engaged" the Ambassador added.

The Fiji Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies(IFRC) will rebuild 10 cyclone-resistant homes in the Western Division. This will be used as a plan by others whose homes were destroyed by Severe TC Winston. The project will be funded by the EU. IFRC shelter delegate Colin Price said the construction of those 10 houses would be spread across the 10 most affected Red Cross branches in Fiji. "They will be used as a training ground and the means of communicating build back safer awareness sessions to 5000 households," he said.

Thursday, 01 September 2016

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Thursday received confirmation of a contribution of over 4.3 million USD from Germany towards the food needs of refugees sheltered in Ethiopia. In a press realese sent The Ethiopian Herald , the WFP said the new funding will help the program to provide monthly food rations and cash-based transfers for over 600,000 refugees from Eritrea, South Sudan and Somalia for the rest of 2016 and for the next two years. German Ambassador to Ethiopia Joachim Schmidt said " For Germany, refugee issues have a high political priority. We are happy to provide this contribution in order to improve the living conditions of refugees in Ethiopia."

The Netherlands has affirmed that it would continue focusing on providing Tanzania with knowledge and skills on priority sector of agriculture and food security in helping the country's transformation. Deputy Head of Mission, Ms Hinke Nauta, said in Dar es Salaam recently that the agriculture and food security gained more attention because the Netherlands and Tanzania have longstanding cooperation on the sector. She noted this at the Embassy in Dar es Salaam during the farewell part for 50 Tanzanians who have been selected under the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) to go for studies in Netherlands.

The German government has made available 1.2 million euros (about 1.4 million US dollars) to support households affected by drought in the southern Mozambican province of Inhambane. According to a German embassy press release, this sum will be managed by two non-governmental organisations, namely CARE and Welthungerhilfe (German Agrarian Action). “The German government has provided CARE and Welthungerhilfe with 700,000 euros and 500,000 euros, respectively, to support the neediest households in Inhambane”, announced the release.

The European Commission says it's adopted its highest ever humanitarian aid budget to date, totalling 1.1 billion euros ($1.25 billion) for 2016. Conflict and the related refugee crises have prompted the increase. Announcing a 20-percent hike in the bloc's aid budget on Friday, the European Commission said around 40 percent of its 1.1 billion euros in proposed funding - or 445 million euros - will go to the victims of the Syrian crisis. "The tragic images of children from Aleppo sadly show all too clearly the real human suffering of millions of people around the world caught up in humanitarian crises," a joint statement from EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and EU aid commissioner Christos Stylianides said.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The European Union Tuesday announced that it was making available EURO 50,000 (One Euro =US$1.29 cents) to Belize in humanitarian funding following the passage of Hurricane Earl last week. The EU said that the funding to assist the most affected populations. The storm, which hit the country on August 4 as a Category One hurricane, caused widespread damage and the authorities are still assessing its impact. Schools, markets, airports and ports were closed, and water supplies affected in several parts of the country.